Improving School-Based Mental Health Services in Rural Appalachian Ohio

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Conference Paper

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Counselor Education and Human Services


The University of Dayton (UD) School Psychology Program was awarded a Mental Health Service Professional (MHSP) Demonstration Grant from the U.S. Department of Education for roughly $921,000 over 5 years. The UD School Psychology Program partnered with Adams County Ohio Valley Local School District (ACOVSD) to recruit and train seven future school psychologists who are from and will return to serve their communities in Southern Ohio. Southern Ohio counties have limited access to mental health services and face a lack of qualified mental health providers in the community. This problem has created a mental health access equity gap in rural southern Ohio. There is currently a shortage of licensed school psychologists in Ohio, but this shortage is felt acutely and historically in the Southern Ohio Appalachian region. School psychologists in this region face unmanageable caseloads and minimal to no consultation with the school community, students, and families. Students funded on the grant will complete the established NASP-approved School Psychology training program at UD, during which they will provide academic, mental and behavioral health services to students in ACOVSD via practicum and internship experiences. The aim is to infuse a cohort of school psychologists trained in inclusive practices, into the communities in which they reside, thus providing sustainable access to evidence-based mental health services for youth in the region. This presentation will share an overview of the MHSP demo grant at UD, including outcomes from Year 1 and plans for Year 2.


mental health, school psychology, Southern Ohio, behavioral health


Education | School Psychology

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